Dutch medicine for that Social Security deficit?

PillsOur French friends seem to love visiting doctors and picking up pills from the pharmacy, even when there’s little need to do so. Result: that massive la Sécu deficit. The Dutch government has – to a lesser extent – the same problem and reader Wim van der Sprenkel tells us they’ve come up within an effective solution.

A Dutch person who doesn’t go into hospital or get a doctor’s prescription in a given year gets a payment of €255 for this restraint. This sum is reduced by the cost of any medicines received. Last year some 4 million people qualified for a payment. The system doesn’t apply to routine visits to a GP or to maternity care.

According to a health ministry spokesman, “The result has been very positive, lots of people just aren’t getting sick.” As the Dutch say in their direct way, “Geld stinkt niet.”

From Riviera Reporter Issue 126: April/May 2008

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